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Olive Garden Chicken Parmesan Recipe

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Our Olive Garden Chicken Parmesan is a delicious copycat recipe of a restaurant favorite! This dish captures all the flavors and textures of the original, and you can enjoy it right at home. Tender and crispy Parmesan-breaded chicken breasts are topped with a tangy marinara sauce and creamy, melted mozzarella cheese. Each bite has so much flavor it’ll transport your taste buds to Italy!

A chicken breast covered in marinara sauce and Parmesan chicken.

Olive Garden’s Chicken Parmesan is a classic Italian dish for good reason. The combination of a crispy, breaded chicken cutlet paired with a savory red sauce and melty Italian cheeses?

It’s a perfect medley of textures and flavors that creates a hearty, comforting dish. 

This copycat Olive Garden Chicken Parmigiana recipe is simple to make right at home, and is sure to be a hit for any kind of gathering.

And whether or not you’ve ever stepped foot inside the popular restaurant chain, we know this Chicken Parm recipe will impress!

​Why This Recipe Works

This simple chicken entrée can easily become your favorite Italian dinner. Plus, it is a budget-friendly recipe that is so easy to make.

Serve it on a side of tender spaghetti noodles, add a tossed green salad and Texas toast garlic bread and you have a complete Italian-inspired meal!

Our Olive Garden Chicken Parmesan is:

  • savory and comforting with the best flavors and textures
  • affordable and simple to make
  • perfect for all occasions
  • a delicious main dish that all eaters will enjoy!

If you like this recipe, you might also love our Parmesan Crusted ChickenMeat Lasagna and our Lobster Ravioli. 

The Ingredients

We like to use our garlic basil tomato sauce to make this dish, but if you don’t have the time to make the sauce from scratch, feel free to use your favorite store-bought tomato sauce or marinara sauce. It will still make a great sauce for this chicken Parmesan!

​You will need:

  • Tomato Sauce. Choose between a homemade sauce or go with a store-bought red sauce or marinara.
  • Chicken breasts. ​Use boneless, skinless chicken breasts. 
  • All-purpose flour. ​For the breading on the chicken. 
  • Large eggs. ​To dip the chicken before dredging it through the breadcrumbs. 
  • Panko breadcrumbs. ​These give the breading an extra crisp texture and delicious flavor. 
  • Parmesan cheese. ​Freshly grated Parmesan helps give the breading a cheese flavor. 
  • Seasonings. ​Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and black pepper are all you need to season this dish. 
  • Olive oil. Just a little bit is all you need to pan-fry the chicken and get the crust nice and golden.
  • Mozzarella cheese. Freshly grated mozzarella for that perfect, melted cheese topping. 
  • Parsley. Chopped fresh parsley and sprigs for garnish give this dish just the right amount of flavor and color.
Ingredients to make Olive Garden Chicken Parmesan.

Copycat Olive Garden Chicken Parmesan Recipe

Simple steps are all it takes to get homemade chicken Parmesan on the table! Here’s a look at the process but be sure to view the printable recipe card ​at the bottom of the page for all of the details and ingredient amounts. 

Before starting on the chicken: Add the tomato-garlic sauce to a saucepan set over medium heat. When it is hot reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer.

Splitting a chicken breast in half.

Slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally. If needed, flatten them so they’re equal thickness. Pat dry each piece with a paper towel to remove moisture.

Three bowls with flour, bread crumbs, and eggs.

Set up your breading station with three shallow dishes. Place flour in the first dish, the whisked eggs in the second bowl, then the breadcrumbs, cheese and seasonings in the third bowl. 

Dredging a chicken breast in flour, then an egg wash, then panko bread crumbs.

Dip chicken into the flour mixture to coat, then dip it into the egg wash, then into the breadcrumb mixture, pressing lightly so they stick. 

Four chicken breasts coated in breadcrumbs.

Place chicken pieces on a plate and repeat with the remaining cutlets. Heat oil in a large skillet of medium-high heat. 

Breaded chicken breasts in a skillet.

Place two of the prepared chicken cutlets in the skillet in a single layer and cook. Flip after three minutes and give it another three minutes of cooking until it’s golden brown. Cook the last two pieces.

Four chicken breasts on a baking sheet topped with marinara sauce and cheese.

Set the pieces on a lined sheet tray and top with the tomato sauce and add mozzarella cheese. Set the chicken parmesan under the broiler for a couple of minutes to melt the cheese. 

Garnish with fresh parsley and serve a side of spaghetti or another pasta of choice. 

  Substitutions and Variations 

If you want to switch things up a bit, we have some ideas for you!

  • Try switching out the chicken breasts for some boneless, skinless thighs. The extra fat from the dark meat will give the dish an even richer flavor.
  • You can also swap out the mozzarella cheese for any type of melty cheese like provolone, Monterey Jack, or Fontina.
  • Swap out the marinara sauce for some pesto. This will add a nice nutty flavor with a hint of garlic and basil.

How to Bread Chicken

The order in which the chicken is dredged through the mixtures definitely matters!

For the best results, you should dredge the chicken in the flour first, then in the egg wash and lastly in the breadcrumbs. If you do it in that specific order, you will get a nice, thick, crispy crust on the chicken. 

Dredging it in flour first will give each wet piece of chicken a bit more “cling” so that the egg wash will stick to the chicken. Otherwise, most of it will fall off. More egg wash means more “glue” for the breadcrumbs to coat the surface. 

Tips for Success

  • When cooking the chicken, do not move it after placing it into the skillet. After three minutes, gently nudge it with a spatula. If it moves easily, go ahead and flip it. If it doesn’t move, continue cooking it for another 30 seconds. If the cutlet is crisp on the bottom, it will move easily in the pan. Don’t move it too soon or the crust will slip off of the chicken. 
  • Use a thermometer to check for doneness after the chicken broils. It is done when the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  • To speed up the process, you can purchase chicken cutlets from the frozen meat sections of most grocery stores. 
  • I prefer using Panko breadcrumbs and adding Italian seasoning instead of buying commercial Italian breadcrumbs that often taste rancid. 
  • If you’d like to use sliced mozzarella instead of grated, one slice per piece of chicken is perfect. Fold the slice in half to fit the top of the chicken breast.
Baked Olive Garden chicken parmesan on a sheet pan.

What to Serve With Chicken Parmesan?

Chicken Parmesan is traditionally served with spaghetti or some sort of pasta.  Prepare the spaghetti or pasta in advance.  Drain it and toss it with a tablespoon of olive oil and keep it covered and warm.

You can also eliminate the extra carbs of pasta by using steamed or sautéed spaghetti squash with the sauce.  Steamed or sautéed spiraled zucchini noodles is another idea.  Or, just skip the pasta altogether and serve this with a Romaine wedge salad and broccoli lemon soup for a healthy meal.

Here are a few other ideas:

And for dessert:

  Storage and Reheating

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. If you anticipate having leftovers, we recommend waiting to top the crispy chicken cutlets with the sauce and cheese, if you can, and instead store each element separately. The sauce can make the crispy breading a bit soggy in the fridge.

To reheat: Place the chicken in an oven-safe dish and cover with foil. Bake at 325°F for 10 to 20 minutes or until heated through.

Tomato Sauce vs. Marinara

We think our homemade red wine pasta sauce or San Marzano sauce are delicious with this Chicken Parmesan recipe, but a store-bought marinara (or even a homemade marinara!) will work fine.

However, if you’re wondering what the difference is, here’s an explanation:

Tomato sauce is a smooth sauce made with a combination of crushed or pureed tomatoes, onions, garlic, red wine, herbs and spices. It slowly simmers on a back burner until it is thick, rich and flavorful.

Marinara sauce is a quick-sauce with a chunky texture. It is also tomato-based using whole tomatoes, either fresh or canned, that are coarsely crushed. The only seasoning used is garlic, crushed red pepper and basil

​Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chicken Parmesan different from Chicken Parmigiana?

Chicken Parmesan is also known as Chicken Parmigiana. The name is interchangeable, depending on the restaurant or recipe writers. However, the dish is the same.

The names “chicken parmigiana” and “chicken parmesan” are spin-offs from the original Italian recipe for eggplant parmigiana. According to some folks, the recipe eggplant parmigiana originated in the northern Italian city of Parma. 

Many of the Italian dishes we are familiar with in the United States are actually Italian-American and not authentic Italian cuisine. Chicken Parmesan isn’t a true, authentic Italian dish (i.e. originates from Italy), but rather, it’s one of the revised recipes from when Italians immigrated to America.

How many pieces of chicken are in Olive Garden chicken parm?

Olive Garden serves their Chicken Parmigiana entree with cutlets of all-natural chicken, lightly breaded and fried until golden.

? More Chicken Dinner Recipes 

Chicken doesn’t have to be boring. Whether you’re looking for a classic roasted chicken with veggies or something more adventurous like Moroccan chicken stew, we’ve got you covered. From a comforting chicken tortilla casserole to a whole smoked chicken, these delicious dinners will satisfy everyone at the table.

A serving of Olive Garden chicken parmesan with spaghetti and marinara sauce. Side salad and glass of wine in the background.

This copycat Olive Garden chicken Parmesan recipe is a great choice for any occasion, whether an intimate dinner or a large family gathering. It’s budget-friendly, simple to make, and absolutely delicious!

⭐️ Helpful Tools

Some of the following are affiliate links. We may receive a small commission if you click on these links and purchase something. You don’t pay any extra, but it will help us keep the lights on. 

? More Recipes You Will Love:

Lemon Chicken Piccata has a bright lemon flavor and tangy sauce with briny capers! This simple dish is a breeze to make right at home.

Chicken Cacciatori is an Italian combination of chicken and a rich, delicious sauce loaded with mushrooms, tomatoes and herbs. Serve it over a bed of tender pasta with a buttery slice of bread on the side for the ultimate Italian meal.

Crab Pasta is a simple, elevated meal that is so easy to prepare! Tender and meaty chunks of crab meat are tossed in savory white wine sauce along with al dente pasta and toasted pine nuts.

Manicotti is a classic Italian dish that combines everything we love about Italian food: cheese, pasta and bold flavors! Manicotta pasta is filled with delicious cheeses and herbs, then smothered with marinara and served with a layer of rich, melted cheese.

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Chicken parmesan with melted cheese on top next to spaghetti.

Olive Garden Chicken Parmesan

Yield: 4 Servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

This recipe captures all the flavors and textures that make Olive Garden's Chicken Parmesan such a popular menu item. This classic dish is made with tender, juicy chicken breasts coated in crispy breadcrumbs and topped with tangy marinara sauce and creamy melted mozzarella cheese. It is sure to be a hit at any gathering.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups tomato-garlic sauce or marinara
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1-1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup freshly grated Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Parsley sprigs for garnish

Instructions

  1. Add the tomato-garlic sauce to a saucepan set over medium heat. When it is hot reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer while cooking the chicken.
  2. Using a sharp, thin knife, slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally into cutlets. If necessary, flatten to an equal thickness. Blot each cutlet with paper towels to remove the moisture.
  3. Set up a breading station with 3 shallow dishes. Combine the flour to the first dish. Whisk together the eggs in the second dish, combine the Panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper in the third plate.   
  4. Working with one chicken breast at a time, add it to the flour mixture coating it on both sides, then dip it into the egg wash, then into the bread crumb-Parmesan mixture, pressing down lightly so the breadcrumbs adhere. Place the coated chicken filet on a plate and proceed with the remaining filets. 
  5. In a large skillet set over medium-high, heat 2 tablespoons of oil until it begins to shimmer. Place 2 of the prepared cutlets in the skillet and cook for 3 minutes. Do not move the chicken!
  6. After 3 minutes, gently nudge the chicken with a spatula. If it does not loosen, continue to cook for another 30 seconds. If the cutlet is crisp on the bottom it will move easily. Flip it over and cook the other side for 3 more minutes. Transfer the chicken breasts to a parchment-lined baking sheet and proceed with the remaining 2 uncooked chicken breasts.
  7. When all the cutlets are cooked and on the parchment paper, add 2-3 tablespoons of tomato sauce on each cutlet, then add 2-3 tablespoons of Mozzarella cheese, covering most of the sauce.
  8. Turn the oven to broil and raise the rack to its highest level. 
  9. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and broil until the cheese melts, about 1-2 minutes. It is ok if it begins to get toasty. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness of 165°F. 
  10. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve with spaghetti or your desired side.

Notes

  1. You can use either a homemade tomato-garlic sauce or a store-bought variety.
  2. For a more speedy preparation, chicken cutlets are available in the frozen meat section of most super markets.
  3. You may choose a commercial boxed Italian breadcrumb mixture but check the "Use Before" date.
  4. I prefer to buy Panko breadcrumbs in the bulk food section and add Italian seasoning as the breadcrumbs are fresher than the commercial brands that often have a rancid oil taste.
  5. Do not move the chicken until is loosens from the pan otherwise the crust will slip off the chicken. These cutlets are thin and will cook quickly. Do not overcook them as they will continue to cook while the cheese is melting.
  6. If using a meat thermometer the chicken will register 165°F when done.
  7. One slice of Mozzarella per chicken breast can be used in place of the grated cheese. Fold the slice in half to fit the top of the chicken breast.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 Chicken Cutlet
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 333Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 539mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 24g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Pat Nyswonger

Pat is a wife, mom of four adult children, and grandmother to seventeen beautiful children. She is a self-taught home cook and loves creating delicious meals for her family and friends. Her kitchen is the hub of activity in her home, and she loves to entertain.

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